Let me get one thing straight before I start. You know that phrase, “it’s not you… it’s me”?
Well I’m fairly sure it’s you!
I used to have so much fun with you. You were a place for great craic, plenty of banter and discussion about stuff I knew little about. I was ok with that, it was an education. I followed lots of people for lots of reasons and created my lists so I could look at writers and family and Christians etc separately if I wanted to.
I’ve spent a lot of time building my profile in your world. I’m no Nicki Minaj (on many levels) but 3000 followers is not nothing – and me trying to establish myself as some sort of writer, it’s a good place to be in.
I’ve met some clever people along the way, with differing views about differing subjects. Sometimes I was brave enough to chip in, other times I’d just sit and watch it go by.
I remember the first time I saw #vinb. I thought the world had gone mad. I watched the programme a couple of times and quickly realised it wasn’t for me. But the hashtag was enough anyway. At first it was entertaining to see folk set their hair on fire about stuff. Then I noticed #rtept, #marian, #miriam and #twip, and it seemed some folk only appeared on Twitter when these hashtags were burning bright.
Something changed a few months ago and suddenly you weren’t so much fun anymore. A couple of topics rose to the surface and you became a place where I had to put up or shut up. Differing opinions were no longer welcome. The minority voice which in economic and social subjects was championed, was now told to be silent.
The senator, the professor, the clergymen, the I.I. director and most of that ilk get hauled over the coals every time they open their mouths. Insulted, criticised, mocked and hung out to dry. On the rare occasion someone gets a slap on the wrist for mocking, the wagons are circled… “poor you – how could anyone be so mean….?”
Eh, yeah… that was my question, but about you – not to you.
I tried to be brave and stepped in a few times, but I was out of my depth. I watch as the overzealous fringe of Christian opinion is regularly dragged through your streets RT’d and RT’d again so everyone can have a good laugh.
In that last few days I’ve watched the RTs stack up of the clip of the New Zealand MP and his hilarious account of some of the contact he’s had from people who disagreed with him. He had the whole of the chamber in stitches laughing as he described some of the comments, he did a clever science experiment & used a Bible verse to seal the deal (completely out of context, but hey the Christians do it; so what?!). It was like an episode of Mock the Week, or is it ‘mock the weak’?
I suppose I could just unfollow a load of people, or re-jig my lists. Grab one of my gay friends who I love (and who love me back) and ask them to assure you that I’m not homophobic. Explain how love for family, childlessness, & love for life are as much reasons for my prolife stance as any Bible verse I may wave at you. But Twitter, you steal my voice, you silence me. I sit at an empty blog post, finger poised over the keyboard and I can’t speak. I swore only a year ago that I’d never let that happen again.
When I finally realised I was a writer and said it out loud for the first time, I was determined never to let anyone convince me other wise. I was going to say what I wanted to say. But you put a stop to that. Or maybe I just let you.
Either way, you stifle me. You smother me. You make me cry. And if you were a boyfriend…. any true friend of mine would be asking me why I haven’t dumped you a long time ago.
The annoying thing is that you’re exactly like that crazy boyfriend I used to have – I’m finding it really hard to let you go, even though I know you’re bad for me and things are about to get a whole lot worse.
@auntyamo needs a break from you. Let’s see if I can live without you for a while.
I’ll miss you – a bit.
P.S Thanks to all the Tweeters who noticed my recent comments about leaving and were nice enough to say ‘don’t go’. If you really can’t live without me follow @amowriting But it’s a politics free zone. God knows I need it!